2 min read

Visualising the Impact of Climate Change on Landscapes

By Jamie Bonnefin on Apr 20, 2023 11:47:03 AM

Viewshed diagrams are a powerful tool for visualising the potential impact of climate change on landscapes and informing adaptation strategies. These diagrams depict the areas visible from a particular vantage point and provide valuable information about the surrounding landscape, including land use, topography, and vegetation cover. They are widely used in landscape planning, environmental impact assessments, and natural resource management.

Topics: ESD Sustainability Energy Climate Green Star Rating viewshed
2 min read

Emerging Technologies of Visual Impact Assessments

By Jamie Bonnefin on Apr 20, 2023 11:46:28 AM

Visual Impact Assessments (VIA) are an essential process used to evaluate the potential environmental impact of proposed projects on the surrounding community. These assessments help identify potential negative effects on the environment, wildlife, and people. 

Topics: ESD Emerging Materials Sustainability Energy Climate visual impact assessment
3 min read

VIAs and Integration with Other Assessments

By Jamie Bonnefin on Apr 20, 2023 11:45:17 AM

Visual Impact Assessments (VIA) are an essential component of environmental assessments and are used to evaluate the potential visual impact of proposed projects on the surrounding environment and community. However, VIAs alone are not enough to fully evaluate the potential environmental impact of a project. That's why the integration of VIAs with other environmental assessments is crucial to ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of a project's potential impact.

Topics: ESD Architecture Climate Alterations & Additions viewshed visual impact assessment
4 min read

The Impact of Wind Turbines on ViewShed Diagrams

By Jamie Bonnefin on Apr 20, 2023 11:43:45 AM

The sustainable energy alternative, Wind Turbines, are often used in areas of wide open space to generate large amounts of electricity. 

Topics: ESD Architecture Sustainability viewshed visual impact assessment wind turbines
2 min read

Should All Commercial Projects Have A WUFI Model Created?

By Jamie Bonnefin on Mar 7, 2023 2:26:36 PM

What is a WUFI Model?

Topics: Architecture Star Rating Sustainability Energy Insulation Materials Residential Commercial
3 min read

How to Manage Rising Building Costs with JV3

By Jamie Bonnefin on Mar 7, 2023 12:57:05 PM

A JV3 Report is an alternative assessment method for non-residential buildings which uses a reference building to compare the overall assumed energy consumption of new buildings with respect to their location and climate. Whereas, alternatively a Section J Report offers a simpler assessment and is more suitable for less complex projects. 

Topics: Section J JV3 Commercial
4 min read

Passive Commercial Projects - A trend for a greener future

By Jamie Bonnefin on Feb 28, 2023 9:35:06 AM

What is a Passive House?

Topics: ESD Architecture Sustainability Passive House Commercial
3 min read

Section J vs. JV3 - When to use Which Compliance Method

By Jamie Bonnefin on Feb 28, 2023 9:32:04 AM

What’s the difference between a Section J and JV3?

Topics: ESD Section J Architecture Sustainability JV3 Commercial
2 min read

How to Manage Rising Building Costs for new builds and renovations

By Jamie Bonnefin on Feb 21, 2023 3:39:43 PM

Why Are Building Costs Rising?

Topics: ESD Glazing Architecture Sustainability Changes Energy Efficiency Insulation Green Star Rating Residential Alterations & Additions
6 min read

Passive House Retrofit

By Jamie Bonnefin on Feb 6, 2023 12:47:37 PM

What is a Passive House Retrofit?

Passive House retrofit is the process of upgrading an existing building to meet the Passive House standard. This typically involves improving the building's insulation, airtightness, and windows, and ensuring that the building has a good thermal envelope. A retrofitted Passive House should consume much less energy for heating and cooling and provide a comfortable indoor environment with good air quality.

Retrofitting an existing building to Passive House standards can be challenging and may require significant work and investment. However, the benefits of a retrofitted Passive House can be substantial, including significant energy savings, reduced carbon emissions, and improved indoor comfort.

Retrofitting a building to Passive House standards usually begins with an energy assessment to identify the building's current energy consumption and areas for improvement. Then, an energy-efficient design is developed, taking into account the specific conditions of the building, such as 

its orientation, size, and existing materials. The retrofit work is then carried out, including adding insulation, sealing air leaks, and upgrading the building's windows. Finally, the retrofitted building is tested to ensure that it meets the Passive House standard.

And in return, when a retrofit achieves Passive House standards, the home is certified as EnerPHit for certified retrofits.

Topics: ESD Architecture Sustainability Passive House Residential passive house australia Retrofit
4 min read

Passive House: Comfortable Homes are the Future!

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jan 31, 2023 3:50:21 PM

The Passive House standard of construction provides a comfortable habitable space by means of reducing thermal bridges, high performance glazing and smart design for solar gain producing a sustainable airtight solution. Passive House buildings are already being built in a variety of climates and building types, including single-family homes, multi-family buildings, schools and commercial buildings, showing that the standard can be adapted to different projects and contexts.

This ability to significantly adapt to the changes in climate enables superiorly comfortable temperatures throughout the construction. The building’s inhabitants will receive the benefits of a temperate environment, reducing the use of expensive climate controls like air conditioning. The Passive House solution also supports the comfort of the user, not only through an evenly temperate environment, but through airtight construction the mitigation of sound transmission, dust, bugs and moisture.

Passive House prioritises energy efficiency and comfort, offering a future proof solution to the increasing needs of all stakeholders. Sustainable construction is already seen as the answer to the climate crisis which is where the Passive House standard offers solutions that are beneficial to both the environment and inhabitants.

Topics: ESD Architecture Thermal Comfort Sustainability Passive House Benefits of Passive House
5 min read

The Thermal Balance Challenge - How Efficient is Your Design?

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jan 31, 2023 3:29:47 PM


Topics: ESD Architecture Certification Update NatHERS Star Rating
6 min read

Introduction to Passive House

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jan 31, 2023 2:25:20 PM

The Passive House concept was first developed by German physicist Dr. Wolfgang Feist during the early 1990s in Darmstadt, Germany. The goal was to create buildings that use very little energy for heating and cooling, while still providing a high level of comfort for the occupants.

The exact definition of Passive House, as provided by the Passivhaus Institut is as follows:

A Passive House is a building, for which thermal comfort (ISO 7730) can be achieved solely by post-heating or post-cooling of the fresh air mass, which is required to achieve sufficient indoor air quality conditions – without the need for additional recirculation of air

Dr. Wolfgang Feist (via Passive House Institut)

Topics: ESD Architecture Sustainability Passive House
1 min read

7 Star Energy Designs

By Jamie Bonnefin on Aug 3, 2022 1:41:12 PM

With the new NatHERs minimum set to change to a 7-star energy rating, you may be wondering how to go about building a new house that meets the target. 

Topics: Architecture NatHERS Construction Energy Efficiency
2 min read

Double Glazing Can Help You Get a 7 Star Rating

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jul 18, 2022 12:53:32 PM

If you are looking for ways to upgrade your home to a 7-star energy rating, one of our suggestions would be to install double-glazed windows and doors. Double glazed windows have a range of benefits that you will definitely notice in the short and long term. However, there are a few drawbacks too.
Topics: Glazing Star Rating Thermal Performance Insulated Glass Units
2 min read

Upgrading to 7 Stars Energy Rating on a Budget

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jul 11, 2022 11:39:00 AM

If you are building homes then you probably have heard about the National Construction Code (NCC) and NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating System). And you may already know that the minimum energy rating will soon be changing from 6 star to 7 star. Meaning all of your projects will soon have to meet the 7 star energy rating threshold. Understandably, you will be worried about the extra costs associated with the extra star.

Topics: NatHERS Changes news Energy Assessment Tips & Tricks
2 min read

Energy Rating Consultant

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jul 1, 2022 12:37:09 PM

You might be in a hurry when you are looking for an energy rating consultant for your NatHERS. But be aware of choosing too fast and ending up with a consultant that will not deliver quick results. We have written 4 tips we think you should know before choosing your energy rating consultant.

Topics: BASIX Energy Energy Assessment
1 min read

7 Star Energy Rating- The New Minimum

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jun 27, 2022 11:56:19 AM

Since 2010, all new homes built in Australia have had to satisfy a minimum 6-star energy efficiency NatHERS rating, however, the Climate Council and the Property Council of Australia are now pushing to make a 7-star energy rating the new minimum. State and territory ministers will meet in July to review the 11-year-old laws that set the minimum energy efficiency standards in new home builds.

Topics: Energy NCC Sustainability Changes news
2 min read

Green Home Loans for 7 Star Energy Rating Homes

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jun 21, 2022 3:34:02 PM

With buildings in Australia accounting for nearly 25% of carbon emissions it is not surprising that buyers are looking to build more sustainable homes.

Topics: Architecture Star Rating Climate FAQ Green Star Rating news
1 min read

What is a 7 Star Energy Rating? | Certified Energy

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jun 21, 2022 1:34:13 PM

The National Construction Code (NCC formally known as the BCA) will soon require all new residential dwellings in Australia (Except NSW)* to achieve a minimum of a 7 Star Rating using the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), approved software.

Topics: ESD NatHERS Star Rating Changes FAQ
3 min read

Benefits Living in a Passive House

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jul 9, 2021 1:35:44 PM

With climate change being at the forefront of challenges we must begin to address, we have to reconcile with adapting our lives to the state of the world we live in. From buying tote bags and metal straws to reducing meat consumption, much of the actions we are to personally take are often cumbersome. It hurts my soul to limit my steak burrito intake to once a week! Unlike most of these personal adjustments, however, adopting a Passive House Design layout for your home would not only improve your living standards but come with a myriad of benefits for homeowners and landlords alike!

Topics: ESD Energy Efficiency Passive House Residential passive house australia
4 min read

Eaves and thermal comfort

By Jamie Bonnefin on May 12, 2021 11:44:47 AM

Building for the Australian Climate.

A building’s access to sunlight is one of the leading factors contributing to its thermal comfort, with the amount of direct sunlight that the building receives greatly influencing the passive heating and cooling factors. However, as the sun’s path varies seasonally, accounting for the required direct sunlight a building needs becomes difficult. The eaves of building construction can maintain great benefits if used correctly.

Topics: ESD BASIX NatHERS Accreditations Construction Energy Efficiency Residential
2 min read

Green Star Rating for Homes | Certified Energy

By Johnathan Le on Mar 29, 2021 2:48:20 PM

Green Star is an internationally recognised sustainability certification for commercial buildings. It is considered the largest voluntary and holistic certification standard in Australia. The certification is managed by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) who have announced an exciting update on Green Star for Homes standard. 

Topics: Greenstar Green Star Rating news
2 min read

Australia: Building the World’s Biggest Houses. Again?

By Johnathan Le on Mar 23, 2021 10:36:06 AM

The year is 2009, Australia received the title of the world’s biggest builders of the largest free-standing houses.
Topics: Design news
2 min read

A National Rollout Of Victoria's Residential Efficiency Scorecard In 2021

By Billie Karadimas on Mar 16, 2021 10:06:20 AM

The Victorian Residential Efficiency Scorecard is a program which rates the energy performance of residential homes on a 10 star ranking system and provides recommendations to home owners to reduce energy costs. The Scorecard provides an energy assessment with consideration of fixed heating and cooling appliances, hot water systems, window orientation and general structure of the home.

Topics: NatHERS Energy Efficiency Scorecard
2 min read

The Future is Passive House: Why Will It Benefit Buyers and Developers?

By Johnathan Le on Mar 2, 2021 8:48:22 AM

Passive House is a building standard and a methodology in design.The Passive House building standard is internationally recognise & science-based.                                       

Topics: Passive House
3 min read

Your Carbon Foot Print at home

By Adam Serry on Apr 30, 2020 6:31:32 PM

Tips and Tricks to implement within your household to help reduce your carbon footprint and live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle! 

Topics: BASIX NatHERS Sustainability Energy Efficiency Thermal Performance
3 min read

5 Quick Tips for Sustainable Home Design

By Deniro Stocks on Apr 30, 2020 4:12:02 PM

We've found 5 quick and easy tips that will help guide on how to make your decisions in building a sustainable home. 

Topics: Design ESD Glazing Emerging Materials Sustainability Energy Efficiency Climate Residential
2 min read

BASIX: New Project Vs Alterations & Additions

By Deniro Stocks on Apr 28, 2020 11:09:14 AM

Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) is a planning tool to assist the NSW State Government ensure that all new developments and alterations are water and energy efficient. The overall goal of BASIX is to contribute to the sustainable future of NSW by reducing water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 40% as compared to buildings prior to introduction of BASIX.

Topics: ESD BASIX Residential Alterations & Additions
3 min read

The Basics of Passive Cooling

By Deniro Stocks on Apr 26, 2020 8:35:24 PM

Passive cooling is the cheapest method of cooling a home, and as an added bonus is incredibly environmentally friendly. No matter the climate you live in, you'll be using passive cooling to some extent throughout the year.

Whether you live in an apartment or a larger home, your home can be built or modified to allow you to take advantage of passive cooling systems to help you achieve greater comfort. If you already rely on mechanical cooling systems (like air conditioners) you can reduce your energy costs by combining these with passive cooling.

Choosing the most appropriate passive cooling strategies for your home should be guided by the climate you live in. We've listed some of the basic strategies below to get you started!

Topics: Design ESD Emerging Materials Sustainability Energy Efficiency Climate Materials Cooling
2 min read

Who do you want doing your BASIX Assessment?

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Apr 26, 2020 1:14:41 PM

The BASIX assessment and NatHERS process is an ever evolving practice which requires extensive knowledge of available materials, passive heating and cooling strategies and how to design in an ecologically sustainable manner. Although to complete and sign off on the BASIX process one must be a certified assessor. The assessor’s background does not play a large role in determining their competency in assessing a building’s efficiency. Therefore, the question is raised as to who is the most qualified or most knowledgeable to be completing the BASIX assessment?

Topics: ESD Architecture BASIX Opinion Residential
2 min read

Do I need a BASIX Certificate for a Relocatable Home?

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Apr 26, 2020 12:45:51 AM

You really need to check with the council. 
While not particularly a ‘relocatable home’ as it sounds like an existing residence, not a new prefab one, this is the only information on the BASIX website:

Topics: ESD Architecture BASIX Residential
4 min read

Beginners Guide: Thermal Mass

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Apr 25, 2020 12:01:25 PM

Want to learn more about optimising the thermal comfort of your project? Read below to learn the basics regarding the Thermal Mass capabilities in certain  building materials! 

Topics: Thermal Comfort Sustainability Energy Efficiency Thermal Performance Cooling Residential Commercial
4 min read

Tips to achieving a 6 Star Energy Rating

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Apr 25, 2020 11:58:34 AM

NatHERS, (or Nationalwide House Energy Rating Scheme), provides a rating system to determine the thermal comfort of Australian homes through software simulations. This system rates from zero to ten stars. The more stars a home gets the more comfortable the occupants will feel when living in the house/unit without additional cooling or heating systems. A building is unlikely to need any artificial heating or cooling system if it gets a 10 star rating.

Topics: Architecture NatHERS Thermal Comfort Thermal Performance Residential
4 min read

How the DA process works in NSW | From Pre-DA to Finish

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Apr 25, 2020 11:51:30 AM

Prior to commencing most types of developments in NSW, you will have to lodge a Development Application (DA) with your local council. 

Topics: BASIX NatHERS Sustainability Residential
2 min read

Top Tips on how to pass BASIX

By Deniro Stocks on Apr 25, 2020 11:48:30 AM

BASIX (Building Sustainability Index) assesses the energy and water efficiency of your development. It is one of the most important planning tools currently operating in NSW to ensure buildings are being developed to operate in a sustainable manner. In NSW the State Government requires that a BASIX Certificate is attached to all development plans when submitted for DA approval.

Topics: ESD BASIX NatHERS Thermal Comfort Sustainability Energy Efficiency Residential
2 min read

NSW: Here is why we need BASIX homes

By Chloe Huang on Nov 14, 2019 1:00:00 PM


Topics: BASIX NatHERS Climate Residential
5 min read

4 Tips On An Eco-Friendly Christmas

By Deniro Stocks on Nov 13, 2019 10:16:11 AM

Did you know that Christmas is one of the most wasteful times of the year? During Christmas alone, Australians throw out 140-150 tonnes of purchased food, check out 4 easy tips to make this Christmas the most sustainable yet in your household.

Topics: Sustainability Christmas
2 min read

Promoting Sustainability in Indigenous Communities

By Chloe Huang on Nov 8, 2019 10:00:00 AM

The $500 million Indigenous Infrastructure Investment Fund (IIIF) allocated to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups can be used not only to increase their economic participation, but also promote sustainability in critical resources they have no or limited access to. In this article, we will dig deep into how the funding can be used to promote sustainability in Indigenous communities.

Topics: ESD BASIX NatHERS Sustainability Construction Energy Efficiency Residential Commercial
2 min read

Here’s what you need to know about BASIX

By Deniro Stocks on Nov 6, 2019 3:00:00 PM

Obtaining a Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) certificate is vital in the development application process in New South Wales and is applicable to all new residential dwelling types. This sustainable, water-efficient, and energy-saving measure is strictly implemented to those who are building a new home.

Topics: BASIX Accreditations Energy Efficiency Residential
2 min read

What you need to know about the National Construction Code Calculator

By Deniro Stocks on Oct 31, 2019 1:00:00 PM

The National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 has brought in a raft of changes including a facade calculator which will assist in providing compliance for wall and glazing provisions. This will make the process for JV3 reports amongst other certifications to continue to reduce the carbon footprint for future building plans.

Topics: NCC Sustainability Accreditations JV3 Climate Commercial
2 min read

Building Ethics - Why We Need Them

By Deniro Stocks on Oct 24, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Earlier this year a structural engineer in Darwin was caught out on building design as it deemed to be considered non-compliant with the National Construction Code. The engineer was rightfully suspended of his engineering registration by the Northern Territory's Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics (DPIL).

Topics: Insider ESD BASIX NatHERS Accreditations Energy Efficiency Opinion Commercial
3 min read

Green Star Rating - How to improve your assessment

By Chloe Huang on Oct 17, 2019 10:15:00 AM

The building sector highly contributes in greenhouse gas emissions. Because of the rapid changes in climate, more and more companies are taking measures to have less to no negative environmental impacts. There is also an increase in businesses and even individuals keen on investing in sustainable designs and projects with certification from Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) Green Star Ratings.

Topics: Climate Cooling Suntuitive Green Star Rating Commercial
2 min read

The Evolution of Environmentally Friendly Windows

By Chloe Huang on Oct 11, 2019 3:00:00 PM

Windows have developed over time from single glazing, double glazing, and more recently self-tinting (Suntuitive) glazed windows. The improvement of glass window technology since the 17th century when glass windows started has resulted in improvements around energy consumption, noise reduction, and installation costs.
Topics: BASIX NatHERS Energy Efficiency Windows Thermal Performance Suntuitive Residential
2 min read

Why Passive House is the latest update in Australian Sustainability

By Deniro Stocks on Oct 9, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Very recently, New South Wales had the first two certified Passive houses (also known as Passivehaus) constructed in Sydney's North Shore and the Blue Mountains. But what exactly is a Passive House and what impact could there be in the building and construction market?

Topics: Energy Climate Materials Cooling Passive House Residential
2 min read

Five Ways of Designing a Water Efficient Home

By Deniro Stocks on Oct 1, 2019 11:00:00 AM

With New South Wales currently going through a drought, now is the best time to find out ways of increasing water efficiency for your next residential project. This helps in working towards a BASIX certificate, here are five ways that you can design a water efficient home:

Topics: BASIX Energy Energy Efficiency Materials
2 min read

How the Australian Architects Climate Emergency will Affect Builders

By Chloe Huang on Sep 23, 2019 11:00:00 AM

A large proportion of Australian architects have followed suit with their English counterparts developing Declare Australia in an attempt to promote a self-sustaining and constantly regenerating environment for future generations. But, what impacts will this have for property developers and builders going forward?

Topics: Architecture Construction Energy Efficiency Climate Opinion Residential
2 min read

How Indoor Environment Quality works towards BESS Certification

By Deniro Stocks on Aug 20, 2019 12:34:00 PM

Getting a BESS statement can be a drawn out and frustrating experience with councils. To get a BESS statement requires a variety of factors such as management, water, energy, stormwater, Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ), transport, waste, urban ecology and innovation. With IEQ being weighted at 16.5% towards BESS certification, here are four ways where you can improve the Indoor Environment Quality of your next commercial or residential project, while being one step closer toward BESS certification:

Topics: BESS ESD Architecture Thermal Performance Residential
2 min read

Moore's NABERS dream - Reality or fantasy?

By Deniro Stocks on Aug 6, 2019 11:00:00 AM

In May 2018, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore wanted new commercial developments to reach a 5.5 NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) Energy Star Rating in a drive towards zero carbon emissions in Sydney CBD. But, how much of an impact will this make on Sydney's CBD area from a environmental sustainability perspective?

Topics: Insider NatHERS Energy Efficiency NABERS Opinion Commercial
2 min read

New NatHERS Technical Note: How it Affects You

By Deniro Stocks on Jul 26, 2019 10:00:19 AM

The implementation of the new Nationwide Home Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) Technical Note legislation will result in closer building assessments with property developers, builders, assessors and designers. The question is will the new legislation support or hamper the building process?

Topics: NatHERS Energy Efficiency Insulation Thermal Performance Materials Cooling Residential
2 min read

The Impact of Self-Tinting Glazing in Different Environments

By Maud Dassen on Jul 2, 2019 11:37:52 AM

Suntuitive's dynamic thermochromic self-tinting glazing has many benefits such as elevated mood, increased levels of concentration and higher productivity. However, a common question is: does it perform as well in cold climates as it does in warm?

Topics: Thermal Comfort Sustainability Insulation Solar Climate Materials Cooling Suntuitive Residential Commercial
3 min read

How Suntuitive is Improving Glazing Technology

By Deniro Stocks on Jun 21, 2019 9:48:22 AM

Suntuitive brings the future to life with smart, self-tinted window glazing. When installed to residential or commercial buildings this technology provides improved climate control and greatly enhanced energy efficiency for both single and double glazed window systems. Other benefits of this thermocromic dynamic glass technology are noise reduction and glare moderation resulting in more expansive views.

Topics: NatHERS Thermal Comfort Energy Insulation Windows Solar Climate Materials Cooling Residential Commercial
6 min read

2019 Proposed NCC building fabric changes + how they affect you

By Chloe Huang on Nov 19, 2018 2:07:31 PM

The 2019 National Construction Code (NCC) is now imminent and if it seems like it’s been a while since the last major release, it has been a long but welcome 3 years since the Australian Building Codes Board shifted to triennial updates.

The proposed changes include a complete rewrite to the way the building fabric is assessed under Section J (Energy Efficiency). The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) committee working on this update claim to have “rewritten Section J in its entirety" [1] which is powerfully showcased through the 30% average increase to the energy efficiency stringency requirements.

So what does this mean to you, as a builder or an architect? How is this going to affect your project and does this mean an increased financial strain on your budget to comply with these new energy efficiency targets? In short it depends what climate zone you are building and to what extent how much renewable energy mix is within your local energy supply. The below table indicates the expected construction cost reduction or increased to comply with the new NCC based on your climate zone refer map below.

[1]Dr Paul Bannister – Reviewer for Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings DTS Modelling Report 2018 by Energy Action

Topics: Energy NCC ESD Section J Certification Update NCC Changes NABERS
6 min read

FIFA’s Impact on Building Sustainable Stadiums

By Jamie Bonnefin on Oct 24, 2018 4:32:48 PM

Figure 1shows FIFA World Cup trophy and official football (1)

Topics: ESD Architecture Sustainability Construction Structure Energy Energy Efficiency
9 min read

Is Double Glazing Worth It?

By Chloe Huang on Sep 27, 2018 12:02:11 PM

The Problem with Windows. 

Windows can have a drastic effect on the thermal performance of a building. Up to 40% of a home’s heat can be lost through conduction or radiation at the window, and up to 87% of its heat can enter through solar gain. This unwanted heat flow can be devastating for the energy efficiency of any project.

Topics: Glazing BASIX NatHERS Sustainability Energy Efficiency Thermal Performance Insulated Glass Units Solar
3 min read

How to design for Climate: Climate Sensitive Design

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Aug 22, 2018 9:29:39 AM

It is important that designers modify their designs in relation to the climate in which they are built in. In order for the occupants of a home to remain thermally comfortable, the design must work with the climate, not against it, decreasing the need to use heating and cooling systems.

Topics: Architecture NatHERS Thermal Comfort Energy Efficiency Thermal Performance Climate Cooling Residential
3 min read

Is retrofitting the future of renovations?

By Deniro Stocks on Aug 15, 2018 2:38:55 PM

In its simplest explanation, retrofitting refers to the addition of new features and technology to older houses or buildings. Examples of retrofitting strategies include:

Topics: Sustainability NABERS Commercial
3 min read

Liveability and Sustainability in NSW - does your suburb have enough?

By Sarah Marcius on May 1, 2018 5:00:00 PM

What is it to have enough? As human beings we are constantly searching for ways to meet our core basic human needs of food, water, shelter, clothing, sanitation, education and healthcare to survive. If simplified, our need to live, last and love.  In the search to meet these needs, it is critical that our immediate environment provides us with the opportunity, support and facilities if we are to feel we can adequately survive. The concept of ‘liveability’ basically boils down to how well our suburbs can do this (with a few additional aspects), and ‘sustainability’, how well they can continue to provide this for the future – do they have enough to continue supporting us for the generations to come.  


4 min read

Proposed changes for National Construction Code Section J

By Paulina Solis on Apr 5, 2018 4:00:00 PM

The National Construction Code (NCC) is undergoing a massive overhaul in 2019 with  Section J being significantly improved to combat rising greenhouse gases and improve the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings. A range of sustainability certification criterion will be affected, so if you are looking at beginning a new project in the next 12-18 months, these changes could be highly relevant.   

Topics: Section J Changes
5 min read

How to keep your home cool next summer

By Paulina Solis on Mar 15, 2018 3:01:56 PM

How do I cool down my home? Our 5 top tips to keep your home comfortable for summer

With the summer season now slowly winding up, it’s a good time to reflect on the thermal performance of your home from the past few months; 

Topics: NatHERS Thermal Comfort
9 min read


By Paulina Solis on Mar 2, 2018 6:22:29 PM

Algae-powered buildings 

The building industry is a large contributor to global warming making up more than 18% of Australia’s carbon footprint [1]. It is crucial we now explore new construction materials and smarter energy production methods to reduce our impact. Would it be possible that we could find a simple solution in a natural product that will assist buildings became not only energy efficient and healthier for its occupants, but also self-powered? Reducing our environmental footprint and improving wellbeing naturally? Well, you better believe it because we have.. ALGAE!    

Topics: Emerging Design
10 min read

Top 5 Algae-Powered Innovations for your home

By Paulina Solis on Feb 22, 2018 4:00:00 PM

As the reality of climate change inches closer, the need to search for new and innovative ways to power our lifestyles continue.
While the idea of using living organisms as a source of power amd light and light may at first thought sound closer to something out of a sci-fi movie, algae as a source of power could be a real alternative that is both viable and ethically sound.
Algae continually and quickly grow via photosynthesis and have bioluminescence qualities [1]. As the fastest growing organic material on our planet [2], algae is being looked into as a creative and environmentally friendly substitute in the fields of construction and design.

Topics: Design Emerging Materials
3 min read

Turn on the switch for 2018

By Sarah Marcius on Feb 16, 2018 2:45:51 PM

There have been a lot of changes here at Certified Energy over the past 12 months. Doubling our size, expanding our operation in Melbourne and acquiring some exciting new projects are just some of our achievements in 2017, making it one of our best years yet!

1 min read

Shifting Targets BASIX Updates

By Jamie Bonnefin on Dec 11, 2017 9:31:34 AM

Improving required sustainability targets is essential with the ever evolving field of ESD. As new innovations emerge and more cost effective and ecological beneficial methods become more common place, adding these to exiting rating systems is essential. As seen with the proposed improvements to BASIX set for 2017.

Topics: BASIX Residential
6 min read

7 Tips for a Sustainable Christmas

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Nov 28, 2017 5:10:45 PM

Did you know that Christmas is one of the most wasteful times of the year? During Christmas alone, Australians throws out 140-150 tonnes (!!!) of purchased food [1], check out our 7 easy tips to make this Christmas the most sustainable yet!

Topics: Sustainability
2 min read

Section J Improving Targets

By Sarah Marcius on Apr 11, 2017 2:45:45 PM

Major Upgrades to Section J



As the ESD industry changes and new practices emerge and become more commonplace so must the rating systems which assess them, therefore in 2019 major updates to section J of the NCC will occur intended to create massive energy and greenhouse gas emissions savings. These updates are aiming to target common areas in buildings class 2,3, and 5 through 9 through which cost saving and ecologically beneficial goals can be met.

Topics: Section J Uncategorised Commercial
2 min read

Renewable Heating From the Sea

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Apr 11, 2017 2:14:47 PM

Renewable energy and heating sources are rapidly evolving and becoming more popular every year. Now as these technologies are becoming more and more widespread with smaller communities wanting to incorporate renewable energy in smaller scale development.

Topics: Sustainability
1 min read

Carbon Dioxide Into Stone

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Apr 11, 2017 11:36:58 AM

The abundance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one of the the largest problems in modern society, therefore, creating ways to capture and store Carbon Dioxide is of high importance. An international team of researchers is working on a new technology to transform carbon dioxide into stone. Scientists are already changing CO2 into carbon and plastic but now they’ve found the next solution. This potentially could mean that you can store CO2 below the ground by "transforming" it into stone.

Topics: Sustainability
2 min read

Not in my backyard!

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Apr 11, 2017 9:40:38 AM

Advent of wind power as alternative energy source

The Vortex wind generator represents a radical change within the alternative energy market and conventional wind turbine design. This generator has no spinning blades (or any major moving parts at all), and appears to be a large cylindrical structure which oscillates in the wind producing energy. Instead of spinning like conventional wind turbines, its uses the principle of vorticity, which is the spinning and repeating motion of air and other fluids.

Topics: ESD Architecture Sustainability
3 min read

Social Sustainability and the Public Realm: Designing for the Community

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Mar 28, 2017 4:50:15 PM

With the industry reaching new material heights, creating products which are physically beneficial to the environment, rating tools are now taking the next step towards aiming for totally sustainable and healthy development. Rating tools are now attempting to assess another crucial aspect of the ESD world, that being the social sustainability of buildings. Different from the pragmatic physical aspects of creating an environmentally sustainable development, rating tools such as Greenstar assess the social and psychological impact of buildings and how through considered design the health and wellbeing of the occupant can be taken into consideration.

Topics: Design ESD Sustainability Green Star Rating Commercial
4 min read

Is Wireless Charging The Future?

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Mar 8, 2017 4:57:16 PM

How Induction Technology Brings Hope For Future Efficiency


Topics: Sustainability
4 min read

Crossing Expectations: Cross Laminated Timber

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Mar 8, 2017 10:36:03 AM

How CLT Is Becoming the Next Star of the Building Industry:

 Discovering newer and more sustainable materials for use in construction, is one of the key focuses of designers today. Aiming to find a material which performs the same as conventional construction methods, which also reduces the impact on the environment is a difficult task. However, with the ever increasing demand for sustainable materials many innovative technologies have emerged which attempt to fill the void. One such material is Cross Laminated Timber or CLT.

Topics: Emerging Materials Sustainability
3 min read

Environmentally Responsible and Interactive Design

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Mar 1, 2017 10:03:54 AM

Designing For Others

Architectural Interventions Improving the Environment and Biodiversity

The effect of urbanisation and urban development on the natural world has been extremely harmful. The built environment’s impact on disrupting migration patterns, habitat destruction and the general effect on the decline of biodiversity has been extremely detrimental. Therefore, through the introduction of various architectural interventions within the city, habitats can be recreated and animal colonies can be somewhat re-established improving the overall quality of our environment and promoting biodiversity which is essential to the health of the ecosystem.

Topics: ESD Architecture Sustainability
4 min read

Green Architecture: How much is too much?

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Jan 25, 2017 4:37:07 PM

Environmentally Responsive Design and Green Architecture


Sustainability and environmental performance goals are presently major contributing factors to design choices. Each new building attempts to take one step further in being even more environmentally conscious than the last. Although this process is extremely beneficial to the environment and surrounding ecosystem, where is this race to create a totally “Green building” heading? Structures are now emerging that look more like nature than building, with towering green walls and sprawling roof gardens disguising any distinguishable architectural element. This raises the question, are we going over board? Surely sustainable design does not mean a building which is literally green.

Topics: Design ESD Sustainability Construction
2 min read

Green Roofs: New Materials and BASIX

By Jamie Bonnefin on Nov 4, 2016 4:24:06 PM

Ever growing in popularity, green roofs and green infrastructure are becoming more and more common in architectural practice, used for both their aesthetic value, reclaiming a traditionally underutilised space, as well as for their innate thermal performance qualities improving the thermal comfort of a building whilst also promoting biodiversity.


Topics: BASIX Emerging Materials Accreditations Construction Residential
2 min read

Materials and BASIX: Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC)

By Jamie Bonnefin on Oct 28, 2016 4:20:15 PM

Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC)

Being conscious about the amount of raw materials used in building products is a key concept when trying to design efficiently, aiming to reduce the overall embodied energy of materials. Autoclaved Aerated Concrete or as it is more commonly known AAC, is an example of a building material that aims to reduce the overall raw material requirements whilst maintaining as many of the original product's structural and functional properties. This is achieved by creating air pockets within the concrete (aeration). These pockets of air have many benefits besides just reducing the amount of materials required to manufacture it.

Topics: Design BASIX Emerging Materials NatHERS Accreditations Construction
3 min read

Who Do You Want Doing Your BASIX Assessment?

By Jamie Bonnefin on Oct 7, 2016 1:05:07 PM

The BASIX assessment and NatHERS process is an ever evolving practice which requires extensive knowledge of available materials, passive heating and cooling strategies and how to design in an ecologically sustainable manner. Although to complete and sign off on the BASIX process one must be a certified assessor. The assessor’s background does not play a large role in determining their competency in assessing a building’s efficiency. Therefore, the question is raised as to who is the most qualified or most knowledgeable to be completing the BASIX assessment?

Topics: Design BASIX NatHERS Star Rating Accreditations
5 min read

Passive Cooling: Ventilation and Vegetation

By Jamie Bonnefin on Sep 2, 2016 2:02:33 PM

One of the most influential factors to consider when studying ecologically sustainable development, is the advantageous affect that passive cooling and heating can have on the efficiency of a home. This involves the careful selection of materials appropriate to the climate in which the building is situated, the thorough consideration of the orientation of the building to allow adequate ventilation and appropriate solar heat gain and various other factors. By considering all of these aspects the efficiency of the building can increase dramatically, whilst also drastically decreasing the cost of heating and cooling the building.

Topics: ESD BASIX Sustainability Accreditations Construction Residential
4 min read

U and R Values & Energy Rating: What do they mean?

By Jamie Bonnefin on Aug 19, 2016 5:20:17 PM

In the field of ESD, two terms which constantly appear are the U and R values of products, but what do these mean? Whether referring to insulation or glazing each product on the market has a specific either U or R value. These values refer to the thermal performance of specific products and materials and how they assist in maintaining thermal control in a building or structure. These values are an integral part of the BASIX, NatHERS and Section J process in the NCC, which require specific values to be either entered into the glazing calculator for Section J reports or specific glazing types with predetermined U and SHGC values for BASIX and NatHERS along with specific R values for insulation and building materiality.

Topics: ESD Section J BASIX NatHERS Star Rating Accreditations
4 min read

Star Rating: How to Increase Your Star Rating for Free

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jul 1, 2016 10:12:29 AM

The NCC sets a minimum acceptable thermal performance for residential dwellings by specifying a minimum 6 star rating for all new projects in Australia with the exception of NSW who are under the BASIX programme.

Topics: Design BASIX NatHERS Star Rating Accreditations
7 min read

6 Design Tips for a 6 Star NatHERS assessment

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jun 30, 2016 11:12:19 AM

6 Design Tips for a 6 Star NatHERS Energy Rating


Topics: Design NatHERS Star Rating Accreditations
1 min read

6 Star Rating: What Is It And Why Do I Need One?

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jun 30, 2016 9:24:41 AM

What is a 6 Star Rating?

The National Construction Code (NCC formally known as the BCA) requires all new residential dwellings in Australia (Except NSW)* to achieve a minimum of a 6 Star Rating using the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), approved software.

Topics: ESD Architecture NatHERS Star Rating Accreditations Energy Efficiency Residential
4 min read

5 Ways to Avoid Double Glazing On Your Next NatHERS Project

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jun 29, 2016 11:14:20 AM

One of our most frequent requests from our clients is to reduce or remove the requirements of double glazing on their projects. Double Glazing can cost up to twice the amount of single glazing and on some projects it can tip the feasibility scales. Every year it seems the ever improving Energy Efficiency - Section J of the National Construction Code and the National Thermal Comfort (NatHERS) regulations are making it increasingly difficult to avoid specifying double glazing. However, at Certified Energy we have 5 tried and true tips that will go a long way to avoid specifying double glazing on your next project.

Topics: Design NatHERS Accreditations Construction
1 min read

4 Tips For Choosing Your Next NatHERS Assessor

By Jamie Bonnefin on Jun 9, 2016 12:47:12 PM


You might be in a hurry when you are looking for your NatHERS assessment. But be aware of choosing too fast and ending up with an Assessor that will take their time. We have written down 4 tips we think you should know before choosing your NatHERS Assessor.

Topics: NatHERS Star Rating Accreditations Residential
2 min read

DA Documentation: How to Avoid Drawing Lighting Plans at DA Stage

By Jamie Bonnefin on May 26, 2016 3:04:14 PM

NSW BASIX Regulation Update for Architects:

Topics: Design NatHERS Accreditations Thermal Performance Residential
1 min read

Section J: Method of Compliance (Deemed to Satisfy)

By Jamie Bonnefin on May 3, 2016 9:42:12 AM

The Evidence of Suitability method using the Deemed to Satisfy Provisions of Part J of the Energy Efficiency section of the NCC Volume 1 (formally the BCA) have been chosen as the most appropriate method to assess the compliance of the proposed development.

Topics: Section J Sustainability Accreditations Construction Commercial
1 min read

Energy Efficiency Industry: History

By Ilvy Bonnefin on Apr 28, 2016 12:34:47 PM

Due to concerns regarding global warning, the Australian Government in July 2000, announced that the State and Territory governments along with industry had reached agreement in regards to adopting a “two pronged” approach to reducing the overall greenhouse emissions from buildings. This was first introduced through the implementation of mandatory minimum energy performance requirements through the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Secondly was the encouragement of voluntary best practice initiatives within the industry. These initiatives were widely supported, with the reasoning that the building related matters be consolidated in the BCA wherever possible.


Topics: ESD Section J Architecture NCC Accreditations Commercial